Can you get laeuse on your pubic hair

Pubic liceIndicationsSexually Transmitted Diseases: Pubic lice are crab-like insects that live in human pubic hair, suck blood and reproduce. They can also appear on the rest of the body hair. The lice are transmitted through close physical contact, especially during sexual intercourse. The main symptom is itching, complications include skin diseases. Only the insecticide malathion is officially approved as a medicinal product for treatment in Switzerland.

synonymous: Pthirus pubis, Phthirus pubis, pubic louse, pubic louse, Phthiriasis pubis, Phthiriasis palpebrarum

  • itching
  • Lice and nits in the pubic hair
  • Gray to blue patches of skin (maculae ceruleae, "taches bleues") at the puncture sites
  • Red-brown stains on the underwear

The blood-sucking pubic louse Pthirus pubis is an approximately 1 to 2 mm long, wingless insect with 6 legs and large claws on the 2nd and 3rd pair of legs. In contrast to the elongated head louse, it is about the same length as it is wide and looks like a crab. It occurs mainly in the pubic hair, but it can also migrate and be transported to other parts of the body.

It can also be found around the pubic hair, on the legs, on the chest, in the armpits, in the beard, on the eyelashes (!), The brows or in the hair of the head. The female lays around 25 eggs, which are glued to the hair just above the skin in the egg shell. The larvae hatch within 6-10 days and become sexually mature within 10-17 days. Outside the body, the lice die within 1-4 days. The scientific name of the pubic louse Pthirus pubis was made by Linnaeus of phtheir derived from Greek for louse. That is why it is also called P.Hthirus pubis designated.


Pubic lice are mainly transmitted through direct intimate contact, especially during sexual intercourse. They cannot hop, jump, or fly, and do not appear on pets such as dogs or cats. Indirect transmission through objects or clothing is also possible, but less likely. Unlike many other sexually transmitted diseases, condoms do not protect against infection.


Scratching can cause secondary skin diseases and infections. Research has shown that people with pubic lice also suffer from other sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV, genital herpes or trichomoniasis. Scabies can also occur at the same time. Social stigmatization, feelings of disgust and shame among those affected. Pubic lice are not carriers of infectious diseases such as ticks or body lice.

Risk factors
  • Sexual intercourse, changing sexual partners
  • More often in the cold season
  • body hair

In the pubic hair, the eggs and egg shells, live lice and the bruises on the skin are visible to the naked eye. Since they are very small, a lamp and a magnifying glass can be used. Detection is done microscopically and the diagnosis is confirmed if live lice or viable eggs are found. Empty egg shells are an indication, but not a clear sign of an active infestation. The reliability of the diagnosis can be improved by wet combing.

Differential diagnosis
  • Scabies can be confused with a pubic louse infestation. It is a parasitic skin disease caused by grave mites that burrow into the skin, multiply and cause allergic and eczematous skin reactions. Persistent itching occurs especially when the bed is warm. Compared to the lice, the much smaller mites (0.3 mm) live in passages under the skin and do not lay the eggs on the hair.
  • Body lice
  • Head lice only occur in the scalp hair
  • Other skin diseases, eczema
Non-drug treatment
  • Regular wet combing of the hair with a nit comb (louse comb) removes the lice mechanically.
  • Shaving the hair is effective because the lice need the hair shaft to lay their eggs.
  • Children’s fingernails can be cut short so they cannot scratch themselves.
  • The bedding, towels and clothes should be changed regularly and washed well at at least 60 ° C. Vacuum regularly. The use of insecticides (bug sprays) to treat the surrounding area is not recommended.
  • Until successful therapy has been completed, sexual intercourse and close physical contact should be avoided in order not to infect the partner. The sexual partner from whom the lice were acquired should be informed and treated.

Notes on drug treatment:

  • Any part of the body that has lice or eggs should be treated. The area around the pubic region (perianal region, rectal hair) is particularly important.
  • The treatment should be repeated after 7-10 days to kill newly hatched larvae.
  • Non-drug measures such as wet combing with a nit comb can increase the success of drug therapy.


  • Lindane (Jacutin® Gel, except for trade) was previously approved, but is no longer on the market in Switzerland and the EU due to its potential for undesirable effects and ecological concerns. It should no longer be used. The Jacutin® Pedicul Fluid is on the market in Germany. It contains dimeticone and no longer lindane.

Furthermore, those off-label agents can be used that are also used for the treatment of head lice. However, they are not approved in Switzerland for this indication:


  • Dimeticon is a physically effective pediculocide.

Herbal supplements:


  • Co-trimoxazole is an antibiotic and is sometimes prescribed against lice, but is not approved for this indication. It may work by killing the intestinal flora of the insects. Due to possible undesirable effects, it should be used cautiously in exceptional cases or not at all.
Lice in the eyelashes

Lice and eggs in the eyelashes (medical: phthiriasis palpebrarum) can be removed mechanically with tweezers or cut away with scissors. Among other things, petroleum jelly is used for drug treatment to suffocate the insects. It is applied twice a day for 7-10 days. Further therapy options are described in the literature.

see also

Head lice, scabies, fleas, itching, permethrin

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  • Medicinal product information (CH)
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Conflicts of Interest: None / Independent. The author has no relationships with the manufacturers and is not involved in the sale of the products mentioned.

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